Social Phobia: An Interpersonal Approach

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Social phobia is a disorder involving an intense fear of being judged by others and it affects the lives of many people. This book takes a critical stance towards the received view of social phobia as a disease of sorts, characterized by abnormal anxiety and caused by an inner mental or physical defective mechanism. Ariel Stravynski adopts an alternative approach to social phobia - as a purposeful interpersonal pattern protective against public humiliation or private rebuff. In this conception, fearfulness is the emotional facet of the socially phobic interpersonal pattern, rather than its driving force. This theoretical framework emphasizing dynamic transactions is articulated in terms of an anthropological psychology and Stravynski argues that social phobia can only be formulated and understood in interpersonal terms. He integrates all available knowledge on social phobia into his proposed framework and exemplifies its application by extending it to the assessment and treatment of the disorder.